Saturday, January 06, 2007

What's next for Mike:

First I'm going to thank Mike again for his invitation to blog on his site and being brave enough to let me evaluate and post my recommendations online.

For this first post let's look at where Mike is going, and the how and why of the preliminary schedule. This is where if you have a coach he/she should read the next line; during Mike's last build up the schedule changed eight times based on his needs; ( everything from his slow response to certain workouts, getting sick, to his being a super Dad while Kiera was away and not having the time for his hobby). The schedules that I post are based on where Mike is at the moment so when you read them first understand what is the goal and how to get from where Mike is to there (the goal).

A good training schedule should be based on feedback and discipline. One of the strengths of Arthur's system was evaluation of exercise and the discipline to complete the steps before moving on. Jumping ahead to another level before completing the previous one only undermines your condition. It is important to understand where you are and what you should be doing next. When you read the next section on what Mike's plans are take them in the context of what he has done and his next set of goals.

Before Mike's last marathon he decided that having the opportunity to race more often at distances between three miles and the half marathon would be rewarding and might enhance his marathon times. This goal set the basic plan he'll use before the next build up for a marathon. As you can see by his posts during the last month recovery was the primary goal. Last week were a couple of evaluation workouts to see where to start. The 200s and the 5K test trail were used check his base workout levels. From those two test the following schedule was setup: (See one of the earlier post about the fiber model for the discussion on fiber recruitment)

M- Easy run with 6 X 20 second ( 150 yards or so )
accelerations to maximum "relaxed" speed , long (full
recoveries) - to activate all fibers up to #12 and use
them in an efficient coordinated way. ( We can use a
short steep hill here also (< 60 seconds long) working
on high knees, hips forward and good extension.
This is a speed / form development day, not an energy
source development day.

T- 2K-5K Evaluation trial This is where we'll check
how things are going It will test the energy output of
almost all the fibers they are almost all recuited at this pace)
and also see if they are recovering.

W- 80 -90 minute run (Starting at 6:40 pace for now)
works the steady state of the lower fibers (1-6 or so)

T- 45 minute run ( Starting at 6:18 pace) a higher
stress steady state to work the lower fibers ( 1-6 )

F- Easier long recovery (60- 90 minutes)

S- Repetitions ( this first week looks like 10-20 X 400 @ 82
second 200-400 jogs) I'm sure this is the one workout
where most runners go wrong because they try to drag
their condition up ( by going faster like 20 X400 in
75 with 30 seconds rest ), after looking at your time
trial and the 200's your sticking point is getting O2
into the fiber and to the energy producers ( across the
wall). There is no use running faster (or longer) (
the O2 can get in so fast right now). Do as many as
you can at that pace working on relaxation. This will
recuite and make most fibers work.

S- Easier long recovery ( 90 - 120 minutes)

As you can see the goal is to work the lower fibers to increase their efficiency and power output. The upper fibers 9-12 will be activated ( setting them up to be used in the next buildup After this week we'll evaluate on what is expected and a discussion on the next steps.


Mike said...

The earlier "A Model for the Lydiard Method" post by the coach offers some good background information on the muscle fiber conditioning mentioned in this post.

Geez, I feel bad for the poor guy who has to do all this fast running next week.

Thomas said...

A year ago you wrote a blog entry ("Pig Won't's Big Decision") where you stated your refusal to do a lot of fast running for shorter race distances.

What made you change your mind this time round? The coach?

Omniscient said...


My guess would be that Mystery Coach has created a program for Mike which emphasizes developing fibers 1-12. So, In order to do so, different paces are required along with varying distances.

I'm sure Mike will provide you with a more scientific justification.

Mike said...

The post Thomas mentions is here for anyone interested. Back then I wrote "I believed that primarily endurance would get me to 2:40, and that endurance and speed would be necessary to get below that. Nobby has suggested that I might focus on speed into the summer, and that this would benefit me greatly if I decide to do a fall or winter marathon. But Pig Won't isn't quite ready for more of the short, fast, intense stuff. He is a stubborn fellow, not at all like his brother Pig Will."

I still believe the part about endurance and general conditioning alone being able to take a runner to a certain point before a pleateau. I ended up going back into base training then mostly because I didn't have enough shorter races in the calendar for the summer, which isn't the case in the winter/spring here. As the coach wrote, "... the goal is to work the lower fibers to increase their efficiency and power output. The upper fibers 9-12 will be activated, setting them up to be used in the next buildup." I feel I definitely had a lot of weakness in the higher number fibers for my last build, and as a result it slowed my progress. If I can activate these fibers during much of the spring, hopefully they will be more easily recruited when I start conditioning training again this late-spring/summer. If I can manage some good races by increasing my speed en route to the next build, so much the better. I guess I'm more of a Pig Will now.

Mystery Coach said...

Thomas, if you go back to Mike's buildup (in December 2005) for the marathon last January he was running a greater percentage of speed at a higher intensity. This buildup will have less intensity and less volume (under 10%). The real change is a greater percentage at high aerobic speeds (90% marathon pace -97% marathon pace).